This page, Safety Standards and Checklist: Retail Businesses, is offered by

Safety Standards and Checklist: Retail Businesses

Reopening Phase III mandatory safety standards, recommended best practices and a checklist for retail businesses. Effective: November 6, 2002

Facilities Permitted to Open to the Public by Community Status

 

Status of Municipality

Retail Activity

Step 1 of Phase 3

Step 2 of Phase 3

Food Courts

Open, but required to close between 9:30 pm – 5:00 am except for take-out

Open, but required to close between 9:30 pm – 5:00 am except for take-out

Fitting Rooms

Open in businesses for which their operation is necessary

Open for all retail stores

Municipalities that qualify as “Lower Risk communities” as provided in COVID-19 Order No. 51 are advanced to Step 2 of Phase 3.  All other municipalities remain in Step 1 of Phase 3 until public health data meets the “Lower Risk metric” as defined in COVID-19 Order No. 51.These allowances are subject to certain limitations as detailed below.

In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, Requiring Early Closing for Certain Businesses and Activities, no retail business may sell or provide alcohol of any kind between the hours of 9:30 pm and 5:00 am and no entity operating under a marijuana retailer license  may sell adult use cannabis or adult use cannabis products of any kind between the hours of 9:30pm and 5:00 am.

Table of Contents

Key Documents for Reopening

Linked below are three important documents:

  1. Workplace Safety Standards - Complete and official sector-specific standards for reopening retail businesses (all workplaces must also comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces)
  2. Protocol Summary - User friendly summary of the standards and best practices
  3. Checklist - Printable tool to help businesses perform the required self-certification for opening and ensure compliance with the sector-specific standards 

Social Distancing and Capacity Limits

Require face coverings at all times for all workers and customers, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability

Each business must monitor customer entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:

50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder

Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space

In any case, no enclosed space within the building shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet

All occupancy counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers

Operators of enclosed shopping malls and other indoor, multi-tenant retail spaces must monitor customer and worker entries and exits to common areas and limit occupancy of common areas at all times to 50% of maximum permitted occupancy levels

Within enclosed shopping malls and other indoor multi-tenant retail spaces:

Retailers or restaurants serving food shall adhere to the latest restaurant protocols. Food court seating may be open provided that restaurant protocols, including spacing and cleaning of tables, are followed. In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53restaurants and food courts must close to the public no later than 9:30 pm and may not re-open to the public before 5:00 am the following day, although restaurants may continue to provide take-out service after 9:30pm.

Any additional seating areas must remain closed

Any children’s play areas must be closed

All arcades must follow the standards for Arcades and Other Indoor and Outdoor Game and Recreation Businesses

 

If the store offers delivery, curbside pickup capabilities, or limited “appointment only shopping,” customers should be encouraged to use those methods before coming into the store

Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department must provide dedicated hours at least one hour each day of operation, in the early morning, for adults 60 years of age and older.  These hours must be conspicuously posted

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:

Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install physical barriers for checkout stations where possible, otherwise maintain 6 feet distance where not possible

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the stores if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)

Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Establish directional aisles to manage customer flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to the store, one-way aisles). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

Self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, and other communal serving areas (such as salad bars) must remain closed. Retailers must eliminate any open free samples or tastings. Self-serve beverage stations must comply with the following guidelines:

Hand sanitizer must be made available next to beverage stations and operators must instruct customers to use before pouring beverages

Only straws and stirrers individually wrapped in cellophane or paper are allowed

Cups and lids must be from single pull dispenser or other method to minimize contact

Sweeteners, sugars and creamers must be individual packets

Floor markers must be installed to achieve social distancing

Use of personal mugs and cups are not allowed

Frequent disinfecting of the beverage station must take place, even during busy times

Individual retailers must not allow sampling or application of personal goods (makeup, perfume, lotion) unless they provide single-use applicators or have a no-touch option.

In Phase 3 Step 1, fitting rooms may be open by businesses for which their operation is necessary. Any clothing tried on by a customer must either be quarantined for 24 hours or thoroughly steam cleaned prior to returning to the floor

In Phase 3 Step 2, fitting rooms may be open for use by all retail businesses

Stagger staff lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancin

Recommended best practices

If the store offers delivery, curbside pickup capabilities, or limited “appointment only shopping,” customers should be encouraged to use those methods before coming into the store

Other retail stores are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC

Contactless payment methods are encouraged

Hygiene Protocols

Disinfect shared equipment, such as cash registers, intercoms, tagging machines before use by another employee

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol shall be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for both workers and customers

Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

Staffing and Operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points

Businesses should reduce operating hours to allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill

If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace

For in-home delivery of products, such as furniture and appliances, screen customers for symptoms prior to workers entering the house. Delay delivery if customer indicates potential COVID-19 positive person in the household

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Recommended Best Practices

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, baskets, carts, staff break rooms)

In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance

Once returned or tried on by customers, remove clothing from service for 24 hours (before it can be returned by staff and handled by another customer)

Recommended Best Practices

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Checklist

SOCIAL DISTANCING AND CAPACITY LIMITS

Ensure >6ft  between individuals

□ Require face coverings at all times for all workers and customers, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability
□ Each business must monitor customer entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:
• 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal
building department or other municipal record holder
• Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000
square feet of accessible space
• In any case, no enclosed space within the building shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
• All occupancy counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers
□ Operators of enclosed shopping malls and other indoor, multi-tenant retail spaces must monitor customer and worker entries and
exits to common areas and limit occupancy of common areas at all times to 50% of maximum permitted occupancy levels
□ Within enclosed shopping malls and other indoor multi-tenant retail spaces:
• Retailers or restaurants serving food shall adhere to the latest restaurant protocols. Food court seating may be open provided
that restaurant protocols, including spacing and cleaning of tables, are followed. In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No.
53restaurants and food courts must close to the public no later than 9:30 pm and may not re-open to the public before 5:00
am the following day, although restaurants may continue to provide take-out service after 9:30pm.
• Any additional seating areas must remain closed
• Any children’s play areas must be closed
• All arcades must follow the standards for Arcades and Other Indoor and Outdoor Game and Recreation Businesses
□ Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department must provide dedicated hours at least one hour each day of operation,
in the early morning, for adults 60 years of age and older. These hours must be conspicuously posted
□ Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:
• Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms,
eating areas) to allow social distancing
• Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)
• Install physical barriers for checkout stations where possible, otherwise maintain 6 feet distance where not possible
• Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the stores if
applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)
• Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation
□ Establish directional aisles to manage customer flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit
to the store, one-way aisles). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
□ Contactless payment methods are encouraged
□ Individual retailers must not allow sampling or application of personal goods (makeup, perfume, lotion) unless they provide singleuse
applicators or have a no-touch option.
□ In Phase 3 Step 1, fitting rooms may be open by businesses for which their operation is necessary. Any clothing tried on by a
customer must either be quarantined for 24 hours or thoroughly steam cleaned prior to returning to the floor
□ In Phase 3 Step 2, fitting rooms may be open for use by all retail businesses
□ Stagger staff lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical
distancing
□ If the store offers delivery, curbside pickup capabilities, or limited “appointment only shopping,” customers should be encouraged to
use those methods before coming into the store
□ Other retail stores are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined
by the CDC
□ Contactless payment methods are encouraged

□ Self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, and other communal serving areas (such as salad bars) must remain closed. Retailers must
eliminate any open free samples or tastings. Self-serve beverage stations must comply with the following guidelines:
• Hand sanitizer must be made available next to beverage stations and operators must instruct customers to use before pouring
beverages
• Only straws and stirrers individually wrapped in cellophane or paper are allowed
• Cups and lids must be from single pull dispenser or other method to minimize contact
• Sweeteners, sugars and creamers must be individual packets
• Floor markers must be installed to achieve social distancing
• Use of personal mugs and cups are not allowed
• Frequent disinfecting of the beverage station must take place, even during busy times

HYGIENE PROTOCOLS

Apply robust hygiene protocols

Disinfect shared equipment, such as cash registers, intercoms, tagging machines before use by another employee

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol shall be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for both workers and customers

Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

STAFFING & OPERATIONS

Include safety procedures in the operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points

Businesses should reduce operating hours to allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Employers must assist the LBOH  with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace

For in-home delivery of products, such as furniture and appliances, screen customers for symptoms prior to workers entering the house. Delay delivery if customer indicates potential COVID-19 positive person in the household

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

CLEANING & DISINFECTING

Incorporate robust hygiene protocols

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, baskets, carts, staff break rooms)

In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Once returned or tried on by customers, remove clothing from service for 24 hours (before it can be returned by staff and handled by another customer)

Phase III Downloads and Translations

Additional resources below, including easy print versions of the sector-specific circular and checklist.

Phase III Step 2 (Updated: 11.06.20)

Phase III Step 2 (Updated: 10.29.20)

Phase III Step 1 Update (9.28.20)

Phase III Step 1

Phase II Step 2 Downloads

Phase II Step 1 Downloads and Translations

Additional resources below, including easy print versions of the sector-specific circular and checklist.

Additional Resources

Last updated: November 5, 2020
Feedback